People passionate about nature

Nature Manitoba award recipients

Congratulations to all our 2016 recipients!

Our 2016 Nature Manitoba awards were presented at our March AGM. Congratulations to all our recipients, staff and volunteers for another great year!

photos by Les McCann


Recipient: President's Award

Joe Leven: The President’s Award is given to individuals like Joe, who have made a special contribution to helping the President in his or her duties during the year. Joe Leven has made valuable contributions to Nature Manitoba over the past year as a member of the Communications Comittee, and assisting with Discovery Evenings. Joe has also taken over as organizer for our Garden Tour. His valuable contributions and experience have made Nature Manitoba stronger.


Recipient: President's Award

Sandy Hay Glass: Sandy responded to our desperate plea a year ago for a Discovery Evening coordinator, and she has been doing a great job, making sure every detail is taken care of.  She has worked hard to put together the Discovery Evening program and she already has next season’s line up planned and ready to go. People like Sandy who step in to fill important volunteer positions seem to be increasingly rare, and Nature Manitoba is grateful for your efforts.


Recipient: Service Award

Tommy Allen: Seven years ago Tommy was hired as an office assistant in the Nature Manitoba office. One day we found ourselves in a crisis with the sudden resignation of the newsletter editor. Upon hearing this, Tommy volunteered to help. That was a good day for Nature Manitoba. Tommy turned out to be the right person in the right place at the right time. He was not only hired as our newsletter editor but also as our webmaster and overall communications person. He modernized the website, designed attractive brochures and posters, and gave us a newsletter that was engaging, visually appealing, and made a great calling card for our organization. Tommy is a pleasure to work with– organized, patient, and good-humoured. Thank you, Tommy, for your invaluable contribution to Nature Manitoba and please accept this Service Award on behalf of all of us.


Recipient: Service Award

Nicholas Cyr (not pictured): On a Nature Manitoba backpacking trip, we learned of Nik’s studies towards obtaining a Certified General Accountant designation, which drew the interest of the board members on that trip as there was pending need for a replacement Treasurer for the organization.  This was especially of interest, as it seems rare to find the qualities of accounting and being a naturalist in the same person.  It was a few months later, Nik enthusiastically came to us with an offer to stand in as our Treasurer. Over the past three years, Nik has provided his knowledgeable support to the financial operations of the organization, and he continues to be a valued contributor to our board.   


Recipients: Ernest Thompson Seton Medal

Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas Steering Committee: he Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas (2010 – 2014) is the largest natural history survey in Manitoba’s history and has produced an exceptionally high quality, comprehensive baseline against which future bird distribution and abundance will be measured. From 2010 – 2014, 1,054 registered volunteers invested 42,620 hours in the field (and many other hours in preparation), collecting well over 300,000 bird records. Many of the province’s most remote and least known areas were surveyed, greatly improving our knowledge, and five species were added to the list of confirmed breeders in the province.

This massive project was led by a steering committee with representatives from seven organisations: Paul Goossen:  Environment Canada; Ken De Smet:  Manitoba Conservation; Jon McCracken :Bird Studies Canada; Rudolf Koes :Nature Manitoba; Sherrie Mason :Manitoba Hydro; Cary Hamel :The Nature Conservancy of Canada; Randy Mooi :The Manitoba Museum

Two Bird Studies Canada (BSC) staff members spearheaded the effort: Christian Artuso (coordinator) and Bonnie Chartier (assistant coordinator). Technical considerations were guided by a technical committee and especially with the guidance of Denis Lepage and Andrew Couturier of BSC. This was an extraordinary partnership of government, non-government, industry and individual partners and the philosophy of inclusivity that was adopted permitted engaging a broad cross-section of society (birders of all skill levels, canoeists, outdoor enthusiasts, rural communities, First Nations, school children and youth) and made this project truly unique.  


Recipient: Ralph Bird Award

Doris Ames: Nature Manitoba is pleased to present the Ralph Bird Award to Doris Ames, who for many years has been the driving force behind one of our sister organizations, Native Orchid Conservation Inc (NOCI). She has worked on many botanical surveys in various areas of the province and helped nominate important areas of habitat for Ecological Reserve status, including the Brokenhead Wetlands, Woodridge, Cedar Bog, and the Lewis Bog expansion. She has played a key role in the Brokenhead Wetlands Trail project and continues to serve on the Board of Debwendon, a non-profit formed in 2007 to promote and preserve the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve and raise awareness of the cultural connection between the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and this critical habitat. Doris’s vision, energy and leadership has carried NOCI to its many successes and laid a strong foundation for them to continue their work. Manitoba’s orchids and other rare plants and their fragile habitats have been the beneficiary.